The New York Times, the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal seem to be one upping each other to see how often they can write a story about philanthropy. Sweet!
Today the New York Times writes about how The Chronicle of Philanthropy decides whether or not to cover Celebrity Philanthropy:
When a portion of a celebrity’s paycheck or time — say, that of Angelina Jolie or Bono — goes to a pet cause, the effort is inevitably lauded by celebrity news blogs and tabloids worldwide.
But to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, the sober voice of the philanthropy industry, the yardstick is much higher. As celebrity involvement in charitable causes has reached new levels, the trade paper, which tracks charities, nonprofit organizations and grant seekers, has had to set ground rules for when a star’s altruism rises to the level of news.
“I think there needs to be greater skepticism about celebrity involvement than I see in the media right now,” said Stacy Palmer, the editor of The Chronicle, who helped start the publication in 1988.
You can read the full article here. You can read/hear more from Stacy Palmer from the podcast I recorded with her about media coverage of philanthropy.
I’ve written in the past how much I learn from Tactical Philanthropy readers, so it was great to see regular reader Bruce Trachtenberg quoted in the article:
Bruce S. Trachtenberg, the executive director of The Communications Network, a nonprofit organization in Naperville, Ill., that works on communication strategies for the philanthropic world, said that the charity establishment has been growing more sophisticated in its dealings with stars.
“As long as people understand that once you want to promote yourself in a way that brings attention to the work you’re doing, you have to be willing to tell the whole story,” he said. “They’re giving some of their time and energy, and that could be part of the bargain.”
Mr. Trachtenberg said that even if celebrities do not donate their own money, their efforts often warrant recognition and scrutiny. “A celebrity endorsement that could bring in x number of dollars — that might be a valuable return to the organization,” he said.
I read on another blog that the amount of philanthropy coverage in the mainstream press was dropping off recently. I haven’t seen any data one way or another, but it seems to me that the coverage of philanthropy in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal and New York Times has gotten much more in depth and consistent. Philanthropy is no longer confined to the November “Special Giving” section. I think it is here to stay.